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“I don’t like when people say, ‘I’ll pray for you.’… You’re going to pray for me? So basically, you’re gonna sit at home and do nothing? ‘Cause that’s what your prayers are; you doing nothing while I struggle with a situation. So don’t pray for me — make me a sandwich or something.”

 ~Hannibal Buress

Slacktivism ... is a portmanteau of the words slacker and activism. The word is usually considered a pejorative term that describes "feel-good" measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it feel some amount of satisfaction.

 So, does prayer actually do anything for the person being prayed for or is it just a way for the person praying to feel as if they're doing something when actually doing nothing at all?


Asked by IhartU at 10:30 AM on Mar. 4, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 27 (31,412 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (25)
  • So, does prayer actually do anything for the person being prayed for or is it just a way for the person praying to feel as if they're doing something when actually doing nothing at all?

    It may have a psychological affect which can help to "influence" the body of the person being prayed for in regards to stress levels. Whether that influence is positive or negative depends on the individual and their beliefs. As for the person doing the praying, it's a whole lot of nothing other than to make themselves feel better about "caring". Does "God" have a hand in any of it. NO. (I don't think I need to tell you the reason why.)

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 11:45 AM on Mar. 4, 2013

  • according to a study i read yes it can do something. the study took 4 sets of hospital patients who were on equal levels of cancer treatment. one group was control, one was prayed for and told, another was prayed for and not told, and the 4th was not prayed for but told they were prayed for. the two groups that were told they were prayed for had a more positive affect, were upbeat that they would be healed, and were more likely to leave the hospital cancer free. if the patients believed in the power of prayer & were told they were being prayed for, it created a placebo effect, even if the patients were not actually being prayed for. i'll see if i can find it.

    so if a religious person tells another religious person "i will pray for you" it does mean something & does do something. its when a religious person say that to someone who doesn't believe in "the power of prayer" that it does nothing for the one being prayed for.

    Answer by okmanders at 10:39 AM on Mar. 4, 2013

  • it depends whether the prayee wants to be prayed for. if they are asking for prayers, thoughts, etc, then yes; i think the notion that people are willing their situation to improve may help their outlook improve. a positive attitude can only help.

    but, if the prayer knows the person they're praying for doesn't want to be prayed for, then they are only doing it for their own gratification. and... being a selfish ass.

    Answer by tnm786 at 10:44 AM on Mar. 4, 2013

  • It does make me feel better if there is nothing else that I can do to change anything. If I prayer for someone, I don't broadcast it, I probably wouldn't tell them other than in general, "I'm thinking about you."Prayer is just communication. A relationship with God is like any other, communication is key. I'm more aware of His presence when I pray and my concerns and worries are aired. Prayer, to me, isn't a bag of charms or a sure-fire way to get what I want. Sometimes the answer to a specific request is "no." Ultimately, I think God is in control.


    Answer by HHx5 at 11:51 AM on Mar. 4, 2013

  • Many people pray for others while also making sandwiches.

    Answer by Ballad at 4:02 PM on Mar. 4, 2013

  • Personally, if a person said "Ill pray for you", then walks away and does nothing to help, I'd doubt if they were actually praying for me as well. Jesus did not tell us to ONLY pray for one another. He commanded us to get up off our butts and do something about it....

    Answer by Nimue930 at 4:23 PM on Mar. 4, 2013

  • You don't have to stop what you are doing to pray. Actually I pray for ppl most when I'm driving (eyes open of course) or while I'm doing chores at home.

    I think it can benefit both ppl. That doesn't mean it always will. I just pray for God's will.

    Answer by HHx5 at 11:06 AM on Mar. 4, 2013

  • There are also studies showing prayer makes people worse - the pressure of knowing they're being prayed for adds stress.  This is the Harvard one.  When you search through the assorted results (they're split about 30/30/30 better/worse/no change), none use the same type of patient, and that may be a factor, too.


    Answer by NotPanicking at 11:36 AM on Mar. 4, 2013

  • WOW! So if someone wish you a good day, should they not do that and go make you a sandwich? LOL
    Yes the prayer benefits the doer because it strengthens the relationship between her and God. We believe that God hears all prayers so I would say that yes it helps the person as well , if nothing more than that they are being thought of in a personal way.
    This also assumes that the doer just sits home and prays lol. What makes you think that person didn't go home and make a donation to the XYZ fund, or sign up for the XYZ run, or go and make something to a grieving family.
    If you do not want some one to pray for you that it is fine. But unless I know ahead of time that you do not care for my prayers, I don't think you have a right to be offended by a simple gesture of caring? All different faiths have prayed/cast spells/invoked the spirit on my behalf. I am good with them showing their love for me.

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:16 PM on Mar. 4, 2013

  • my own brain.
    But back to the question. I do not have to stop and do nothing in order to pray. I can work at the food pantry and pray, I can knit blankets or throws and pray. I can quilt and pray. I can cook and pray.

    Answer by Dardenella at 4:13 PM on Mar. 4, 2013